How To Choose The Best Earrings Backs For You

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When it comes to accessories, earrings are a popular choice.

They can be worn independently, in various combinations and piercings or paired with other jewelry.

And earrings are a brilliant way of expressing your own unique style, with many people opting for less traditional piercings than simple lobes.

Styles such as industrial piercings, helix piercings and double and triple lobe piercings are on the rise. Many people wear these different styles because they like the way they look, but for others, wearing earrings can be about function as well as form.

In fact, it is believed that the daith piercing on the inside of the ear can help relieve headaches and migraines!

Depending on what type of earrings and piercing you have, you want to ensure that you have maximum comfort when wearing them and that your beloved earrings will remain secure in your ears at all times.

If you have sensitive ears or experience pain when wearing certain types of earrings, there are a number of options to help you enjoy your favorite earrings without any irritation whatsoever.

In this article, we're going to discuss the different types of earring backs you can choose to ensure maximum comfort!

What are the different types of earring backs?

When it comes to earring backs, there are more options than you might think.

Earring backs come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, and they're made from a range of materials. They also have specific uses depending on the type of earring you're wearing them with.

So what are the different types of earring backs? When you think about it, they're really just tiny little pieces that keep your precious jewelry safe in place while protecting your ears from irritation and infection.

But there's more than meets the eye regarding these seemingly simple accessories!

What are friction backs?

Friction backs are the most common types of earring backs. They are also known as pushbacks or earnuts, and they have small friction back earnuts that are bent into a curled formation that pushes into the back of the earring. Friction-back earrings are easy to use and comfortable to wear.

They get their name from the friction they exhibit against the earring post when you slide them onto the earring, keeping the earring secure against your ear. They are small in appearance, so they don't detract from the overall look and design of the earring, and they are very affordable too!

In terms of their usability, they are very straightforward to use; you can slide them off and on your earring with ease; however, amongst the various types of earring backs, they are known to be the least secure and can slide off the earring when pushed against or if they get caught on something like an item of clothing or piece of hair.

They are typically only used with stud earrings and can be known to loosen up after long periods of wear, this is because gold, silver, and platinum are malleable and can bend over time.

They are still very secure though and they shouldn’t cause any issues - a pro tip would be to take your curled friction backs to a jeweler where they’ll be able to tighten them up with ease, meaning you don’t have to replace them with new ones!

If you’re looking for a pair of friction backed earrings, take a look at these beautiful Gabriel Cushion Halo Round Diamond Stud Earrings!

What are secure lock-backs for earrings?

Secure lock-backs for earrings are considered to be the most secure form of earring backs due to their design. They are a double-grooved patented locking mechanism where the tension mechanism locks at one of the grooves to hold the earring in place.

Simply press the tension tabs to release the tension to remove them from your ears. They are also sometimes referred to as “La Pousette” or “Guardian Backs”.

These are, without a doubt, the best option if you are wearing more valuable earrings or earrings with expensive diamonds, as they are less likely to lose their grip. If you are the type of person to wear your diamond studs to bed, these are the best choice for 24/7 wear. 

Do you love wearing large diamond studs or magnificent hanging earrings that are on the heavier side? Perhaps your earlobes don’t have the strength they once had and you find your earrings drooping, rather than sitting comfortably in your ears.

Well, if you can’t get enough of bigger diamonds making your ears sparkle and look fabulous, there is a solution to help keep them level and secure in your ears without having to worry about them drooping.

You can always add plastic discs to your earrings (add after you place your earring in your ear and before you place the back of your choice), but for the ultimate level of lift for your earrings, you should try Happy Backs which are designed in a similar way to secure lock backs - take a look at these Honora Happy Backs Ear Nuts

These types of backs are also very popular because they're so easy to use; they work great for people who are active or live an active lifestyle because they won't fall out as easily as other types of backs can do over time if you wear them too much or too often.

What are lever backs for earrings?

Lever backs are also a common type of earring back.

They are easy to put on and remove, making them a great choice for someone with sensitive ears, and they are generally used for dangling earring designs.

They are recognizable by their curved wire design that forms a loop through the ear and attaches at the bottom. They are relatively secure and come in a variety of metals.

Want to know what lever backs on earrings look like? Take a look at this stunning pair of Gabriel Pave Diamond Bar Drop Leverback Earrings!

What are screwback earring backs?

Screw-back earring backs, like the name suggests, are a type of earring back that screws onto your earrings. They're very common and can be found in almost every jewelry store. They're sometimes also known as "postbacks" or just simply "screws".

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The main benefit of screw-back earring backs is that they're safe for sensitive ears because you can control how tight or loose they fit on your ear.

They're really easy to use: simply twist the bottom part into place until it's tight, and then you can wear them without worrying about them falling off!

Designers such as Gabriel are one of the few fine jewelry designers that love to use secure screwback closures on their hoops for extra safety and comfort - check out these wonderful Gabriel French Pave 20mm Inside Out Diamond Hoop Earrings.

Screwbacks are similar to pushback earring backs in their appearance; they are small and dainty and do little to detract from the actual earring. They do, however, have an advantage over the pushback as they are far more secure.

Because of the back twisting against the screw-shaped earring, there is no chance of movement of the back without properly unscrewing it, which keeps the earring safe and secure at all times.

The only disadvantage of screwback earring backs is they take a lot of dexterity in order to secure them in place. Therefore, they may not be entirely suitable for people who struggle with arthritis or who cannot grasp small objects tightly.

The threads of the screws can also become worn over time, making the threads wonky and less straight which can make it a challenge to screw them on properly

What are french wire backs for earrings?

French Wire earring backs are earrings backs that are formed from metal in a loop shape that goes all the way through the ear without a clasp. They are sometimes referred to as fish hooks due to their appearance!

They allow the earring to sit comfortably in the ear and are usually used for drop earrings such as the Simon G 18k Yellow Gold Fallen Leaves Earring.

Similarly, Omega Clasps offer a similar level of support and are great for heavier earrings such as the Simon G 18k Rose and White Gold Flower Earrings with Pink Diamonds.

Which earring backs are best for sensitive ears?

If you have sensitive ears, the best choice for you is a back that uses hypoallergenic metals such as titanium, surgical stainless steel, white gold (with Rhodium plating) or yellow gold.

It is always best to avoid anything with too high of a nickel base, as this tends to be a high allergen for sensitive skin.

You could also look at earring backs that are made of plastic as these are generally kind to the skin, are usually hypoallergenic, and shouldn't cause irritation, which can happen when wearing metal earrings.

We also recognize that plastic backs are options for some types of jewelry but we’d always recommend going for a metal alternative as they last longer than plastic backs.

It's always important to discuss any sensitivities with your jeweler before purchasing certain earrings, and earring backs that you are unsure of and consult a doctor if you do experience any forms of irritation.

And if you're buying earrings and earring backs for children, it is recommended to go with stainless steel screw backs as these are the most hypoallergenic and the least likely to get lost during playtime!

Which style of earring back is best?

With so many different types of earring backs available, it can be hard to know which one is best for you. There are a few things to consider when deciding on the right backing for your earrings:

  • Type of metal used in your jewelry.
  • Sensitivity of your ears. If they are sensitive, plastic or hypoallergenic metal earring backs such as stainless steel, platinum, white gold (with Rhodium plating) or yellow gold should be a good choice because they will be more comfortable and less likely to cause irritation.
  • What kind of look do you want? Depending on the style of your jewelry and the size of your earlobes, different earring backs will give a different appearance. Be sure to try out various styles to find the right backs for your ears.

We hope that this guide has helped you to understand the different types of earring backs out there and which ones would be best for your ears.

If you have any questions about what type of earring backing is best for you, pop down to the Ben Garelick showroom, where you can try on as many earrings and earring backs as you like.

You can even try them on in the comfort of your home - get in touch with one of our earring experts today to arrange!

Visit us at our Buffalo, NY store today. Not nearby? Not to worry - chat with our earring experts online 24/7, call us on (716) 631-1584, or text (716) 574-0966. Let’s find the best earring backs for you!

Peter Manka Jr

Peter Manka Jr. - Owner at Ben Garelick

Peter Manka Jr. is a passionate member of the family business who joined Ben Garelick in the early 2000s after working in product licensing for Sesame Workshop & The Jim Henson Company for many years. He obtained a degree in diamonds and jewelry from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in order to sharpen his jewelry skills. He takes great pride in providing exceptional customer service and helping clients find the perfect piece of jewelry.

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